I’ve Been Nominated for a Liebster Award

First off, I’d like to thank Noor for nominating me! After reading all the wonderful poems and prose of the other nominees, I don’t feel worthy, ha.  The nomination came at a great time, actually. I’ve got a lot of ideas for the future. Perhaps this will be the push I need to finally start writing everything. Again, thank you.

Here are the questions she gave me:

  1. If you could speak another language, which language would you pick and why?

I actually already speak Mandarin and French as second and third languages (although my French could use some help). I’m obsessed with learning languages and have clear goals- I want to speak at least 7 languages by 2020. I’ve got Arabic and Hindi in my sights next.  I’m working on them at the same time, which may or may not be a wise idea. I want to learn Hindi because I want to be able to watch Bollywood movies without subtitles and speak to my Indian and Pakistani friends. I want to learn Arabic because I want to be able to read the Qur’an in its original form (which means I need to learn Classical Arabic, although most people speak Modern Standard Arabic or some dialect). My ultimate goal, though, is to be able to read as many texts as possible in their original languages. Translations are okay, but they are often no substitution for the original.

2. What is something you enjoy to do on your spare time?

As you might have guessed from my answer to the first question, I read in my spare time. I love language, I love literature, I love learning.

3. What’s one fact about you that not many or any of your followers know?

Oof that’s hard. I’m not sure what to share. Here’s a fact: my guilty pleasure is dancing like a mad woman around my room to music from the early 2000s. I tell myself I’m exercising, but let’s be real here– I just like to dance.

4. What are you hoping to reach from blogging?

As with many bloggers, I’m sure, I’m hoping to make an impact. My focus has been relatively narrow so far, but I plan on expanding my scope. I’ve got book reviews planned, perhaps a few thoughts on topics in Islam and hopefully a few photography and graphic design projects (insha’Allah!).  I want people to have fun and maybe learn something, haha.

5. Where would you want to travel to if you had the chance?

My travel list is just as long as, maybe longer than my language list. I’ve got a few small trips on my wish list, but more than anything I want to travel north to south on the east coast of China (from Harbin to Hong Kong). I’m hoping to make my trip during the winter recess senior year, before my Chinese residence permit expires. We’ll see how that goes.

6. When frustrated how do you calm yourself down?

If I’m frustrated with a project or thing, I take a break. If I’m frustrated with a person and I catch myself, I say “a’udhu billah” (I seek refuge in Allah). If I don’t catch myself, I react as humans do (and ask forgiveness later :/). No matter what, though, I need a way to expel the energy I’ve built up. That’s usually when I go for a walk or dance.

7. What’s one advice that you would give out?

Be proud of who you are. Don’t let society or your peers define you. So what if your name doesn’t sound like everyone else’s? So what if your skin is a different color? So what if you dress  a little differently? Don’t spend your life sacrificing integral parts of your identity to please others. I know it can be hard, especially when the discrimination morphs into violence and hate crimes, but you’ve got to push through it, especially when it comes to things you can’t change (like skin color). Love yourself, only then will you be able to love others. I learned that the hard way and I’m still working on recovering.

8. What’s something that keeps you going through any hardship?

Poetry and belief in Allah.

9. Are you a planner or a spontaneous traveler?

Both. I make plans for big trips (4+ days), but I tend to take weekend trips spontaneously. Even if I’ve planned my destinations on longer trips, I don’t plan all of the things I plan to do at those destinations. I just let things happen organically.

10. What’s the first thing you do when you wake up and the last thing you do before going to bed?

Besides making my supplications (to be perfectly honest, they’re not always the first and last thing I do, but I’m working on it), I usually skim my phone for any message that requires an immediate answer. In the mornings I read the news/a book for a while before I begin to prepare for the day. In the evening I’d like to get into a yoga habit (or maybe in the morning, hrm.)

11. What makes you smile?

Toddlers. THEY’RE JUST SO ADORABLE. Unless they’re crying. They’re less adorable then.

It turns out I don’t follow that many blogs, and most of the people I follow have around a thousand followers, if not more. Nevertheless,


Nigerian and Natural 


Jess A

The rules are simple:

  • Each nominee must link back the person who nominated them
  • Answer the 11 questions
  • Nominate 3-11 other bloggers for this award who have less than 500 followers
  • Create 11 questions for your nominees to answer
  • You can’t nominate the one who tagged you
  • Let the nominees know that they have been nominated by going to their blog and notifying them

Here are your questions:

  1. What is one food you absolutely refuse to eat?
  2. Why do you write?
  3. What’s your favorite book/story, why?
  4. Which do you prefer, being hot or being cold?
  5. What’s your pet peeve?
  6. What is your “squirrel”?  What derails your projects and causes you to veer off course?
  7. What is one thing you want everyone to know?
  8. Coconut or mango?
  9. Do you prefer to keep your nails long or short?
  10. What brightens your day?
  11. Do you keep a momento from your childhood? (No worries, if it’s embarrassing you can just say “yes” or “no” ;D)

I’m interested in seeing everyone’s answers. Have fun!


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